Artistic roller skaters skate on quad skates or inline skates (for the inline free skating discipline). Skates consist of four essential parts: boots, plates, wheels, and bearings. Skaters may sometimes use jump bars on their plates for added stability. Free skaters (both quad and inline) have a toe stop on their plates. While plates are usually long lasting and durable, boots, wheels, and toe stops need to be replaced as they wear down with use.
Boots used in artistic roller skating are traditionally made of leather, but contemporary boots are often crafted using synthetic materials. While there are boots made specifically for artistic roller skating, skaters may choose to use ice boots, though the use of ice boots is mostly prominent in inline skating. The style of boot varies based on the personal preference and the discipline the skate is used to skate in. In general, free skating boots are stiff to support skaters' ankles and prevent injury as they spin and jump. In the figures discipline, stiff boots are used for circle figures while slightly softer boots are used for loop figures. Dance boots are the most flexible and soft, with a low cut back for ankle mobility, allowing the skater to point their foot and create aesthetic lines with their leg. Boots come in many different brands, some of the most popular being Riedell, Edea, Risport, Harlick, SP Teri, and Jackson.
Inline frames (plates)
Frames designed for inline artistic skating have three or four rockered wheels with a toe stop or toe "pic" placed at the front. Rockered wheels (wheels which are arranged at different heights so that the baseline of the wheels forms a curve instead of a flat line) are more suitable to simulate the curved blades on ice and achieve deep edges needed to perform footwork and spins. Popular inline frame brands include Snow White, PIC, Roll-line, Golden Horse (GH Skates), and STD Skates.
Quad plates designed for artistic skating vary in design based on the discipline they are created for. Professional and mid-level plates are made of a strong lightweight metal like aluminum, stainless steel, or titanium. Entry-level plates can be made of nylon or other plastics. Freestyle and creative solo plates will have toe stops at the front to execute jumps (used in the take-off of jumps such as the toe loop or the flip), spins, and footwork. For compulsory dance and figures where toe stops are unnecessary and may impair the skater's mobility, plates will often have no receptacle for a toe stop; the skater may also choose to remove the existing toe stops from their plate and replace it with a jam plug or mini stopper. For loop figures, skaters will often mount a shorter plate to their boot for maximum maneuverability. Some dance plates have a lower center of gravity for extra stability. Popular quad plate brands include Roll-line, RollerSkates Italia, Atlas, and Snyder.
Quad wheels are made of polyurethane and come in varying sizes and hardnesses. The size of a wheel is determined by two dimensions: height and contact width (how much of the wheel touches the floor). Typically, a 62mm height is used for dance, 63mm used for circle figures, 60mm used for loop figures, and a more maneuverable 55 or 57mm wheel used for freestyle. The contact width of an artistic wheel is very small, around 30–32mm.
The hardness (or durometer) determines the grip and slip of a wheel. Durometer is measured either on the A or D shore scales, where a higher number is a harder and more slippery wheel. Skaters may choose wheels based on their skating discipline and the floor type they are skating on (wood, sport court, concrete, etc.). Normally, a harder wheel with more slip is used for turn figures. Figure skaters often elect to use a mix of wheel hardnesses on their skates to optimize turning and acceleration, with a softer "push" wheel. Freestyle skaters tend to use a mix of hardnesses on skates, using a harder wheel on the edge they need to spin and a softer wheel on the other edges. A typical freestyle wheel will range from 92A–103A or 35D–61D. A softer wheel with more grip is used for dance. Popular quad wheel brands include Roll-line, Rollerbones, Komplex, and Boiani.
Inline wheels have a rounded profile and small contact widths. The typical range for inline wheel heights are 62–80mm. Typical hardness will be from 82A–90A. Inline artistic skaters have a more limited choice in wheels due to the fact that the wheel brand is often specific to and must correspond to the frame's brand to properly fit.